EverQuest is now nearly twenty years old and alot factors outside the game have changed during this time. Twenty years are ALOT for an MMO. To me its obvious that the game is not well adjusted to the current market situation even that alot things have been implemented over the years by the developers to keep up with changes. One thing has been slipped totally it seems and this is the aged player base and community. During the vanilla years (1999-2004) the majority of players was about 15-30 years old, with an average age of 25.7 years around the year 2003. The few veterans that still play today or have returned after a long break, would have an age of 35-50 years now (~41 years in average). Check out this study for more details from the past, it has been released around the year 2003: http://www.nickyee.com/eqt/demographics.html Personally I had played EQ in the years 2000-2004 and 2015-2018 so pretty exactly seven years alltogether. Based on my personal ingame experiences in the last few years as a returned player I had noticed significant changes in player behaviour and game features but about no changes in overall game mechanics and its market concept regarding the age of the target group, which is weird as I am pretty sure that the player base is now much older than back in the early years even that alot young players have joined over the years. This should be overlooked and the game and its marketing adjusted to this situation! Here is a quick analyse that I made, you may had experienced this differently: The situation in 2000-2004: - The political, economic and social situation was better and alot more stable in most of the player origin countries (USA, canada, germany, france, great britain, spain, scandinavia, japan, ..). - Core player base was teens and twents, not many players was older than thirtyfive years. - EverQuest and other MMOs was a hype and players was generally very excited by this new game and internet experience. - Very communicative players (chat, emotes). - Players did spent ALOT time in EQ. - Players did spent alot money for EQ (~25 US-dollar monthly fee which is worth like 35 US-dollar today). - Alot happy, social and open minded players even that some game and online mechanics was horrible (slow 56 kbit/s dial up modems, alot hardware and server lag, alot disconnections and zone/server crashes, endless corpse runs, lost corpses with all gear rotting with them, very slow and bad GM service, no customer support outside the game like now). - Alot active players. - Alot active guilds. - Alot experience and dungeon crawl groups. - Only very few players are boxing (playing multiple characters/accounts); mercs was non existant. - About every player had (bought) all available game expansions which did keep the community together The situation now (2018): - The political, economic and social situation is much worse and unstable now worldwide. - Alot "old" players around, but also younger players, the age spread has increased. The older players (veterans) have family and kids now often, a few even play EQ together with their kids now. - Alot other MMO projects had entered the game market since late 2004. - Players got used to the internet and MMOs and have experienced alot of them so they are much less excited and bored faster now. - Much less communicative players (I think that the increased age is the main factor). - Players spend way less time in EQ than in the past. - Players seem to spend alot less money for EQ now, maybe only about 1/2 to 1/3 like in the past. - Players act emotionally dulled, depressive, little social, more egoistic. - Not many active players anymore (only a small fragment per server compared to the vanilla years) - Only very few active guilds with a RL player base higher than 5 people on life servers. - The typical open experience group is dead on life servers, instead about everyone is moloing and boxing multiple accounts. Boxing 3 accounts is very common now and experience groups are limited to guilds but still rare. - Alot players do not have bought/unlocked the latest two game expansions which does split the community which is poisonous to servers with a small player base. What can be done to adjust the game to the current situation ? Fellow players, please post constructive ideas as comments ! I can just name the things that came into my mind and these are: 1. EverQuest has to many barriers that prevent content being accessed and explored. As example there are many quests/tasks that require a group (two, three or even more characters) even that the content can be done solo. The majority of the players on the live servers is soloing/moloing and boxing and one of the reasons for boxing is locked group and raid content but players want to explore them all. Remove those barriers and install more instanced zones if needed! 2. Introduce more and more complex, well written quests that can be done by single characters. Do not give players more reasons to box multiple accounts as boxing and moloing are symptoms and not the reason why people play the game. 3. Merging life servers is inevitable to keep servers populated and vital. Double as much life servers are availably as needed imo. New players do not stay for a long time in the game when experiencing "graveyard" zones and small populated servers. 4. Rethink about the pricing/payment policy and marketing. I won´t write much more about this as the forum policity does not allow such discussions. Just one thing that should be allowed: I always wondered why there are no armor ornamentations for classic character models available (in the marketplace) even that alot players have adjusted their eqclient.ini file to show classic models (disabled luclin models). Such a feature could be a win win situation for the company and for players. Also alot money can be made with merchandise articles (plush dolls, figurines, T-Shirts, mugs, posters..) Think about a measurement to counter a splitted and decreasing player community where only a part of the players has access to the latest two expansions. I cannot write more. 5. EverQuest should be made more attractive to older players generally. I do not think that it can competete with modern games when focusing on young players (teenagers) but instead it is an unique game with its own market niche. Concentrate on this niche, there are not many MMOs out there for adult players.... yet. 6. Newer expansions lack in atmosphere sounds and happy/mysterious/adventuring music alot and music in general. You might want to hire Jay Barbeau again as he is a genious musician that shaped EverQuest alot in the past. Good gaming atmosphere and music (and well written quests) can compensate outdated graphics alot.